After I visited the Texas Department of Transportation’s web-site to see how TDOT is currently “handling” access to plans for TDOT projects, I visited another state DOT agency and found that they were using a service provided by “BidExpress”. So, I decided to explore “BidExpress” a bit further. “BidExpress” was developed by a company called “InfoTech.” No reprographers there! You can read about InfoTech at this link:
Apparently, InfoTech’s “BidExpress” service is used by a number of different public “transportation” (government) agencies – the agencies use BidExpress to publish digital files containing plans for projects – users can “view” plans and “download” plans. User’s can also “submit orders for hard-copy”, but only if the agency has signed up for the additional feature called “Online Plan Sheets.” Not all of the agencies who are using BidExpress are using the “Online Plan Sheets” service (which is an additional capability/service) available to agencies who’ve signed up for BidExpress.
The following (government) agencies currently use “Online Plan Sheets”:
• Calcasieu Parish Police Jury
• City of Toledo
• East Baton Rouge City Parish
• New Jersey
• New Jersey Transit
• New Mexico
• New York
• Nova Scotia
• West Virginia
For more information about Online Plan Sheets, please visit:
I viewed the “video” of how Online Plan Sheets works, and noticed that, when one goes to select the reprographer to be used for printing hard-copy, there are two choices for reprographers – Napco and Triangle.
So, I went back to Infotech’s web-site, and, yes, Napco (RS Knapp / Napco) is listed under InfoTech’s “corporate alliances” and, yes, Triangle is also listed as one of InfoTech’s “corporate alliances.” Since there are several reprographers who use word “Triangle” in their names, let me clear this one up; this is the “Triangle” operation founded by Joe Teti, located (multiple locations) in New Jersey. Anyway, I found it kind of funny that both reprographers are only located in New Jersey (and they are “somewhat” competitors of each other) and that, if a “user” in New Mexico wants to order hard-copy, that order, apparently, would be fulfilled by a reprographer in New Jersey. Well, New Mexico and New Jersey do have something in common. (hint: NOT the weather.)
Here’s a link to the video I mentioned. (Give it some time to load-up!)
Anyway, if found the info about BidExpress and InfoTech to be very interesting. A great example, I think, of a “niche” carved out in the e-planroom field – this niche being the DOT world.